Marion gets break on interest rate

The Marion City Council took advantage of the timing of calls to its city manager Monday to save what could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars on its water-plant financing.

Then it further put the icing on the cake to knock the price of a new trash truck down from $120,000 to $105,280.

City Administrator David Mayfield said calls from bond counsel and the administrator of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development funds enabled the city to take advantage of a market value situation to qualify because of its government status for a 3.34 percent bond rate instead of a 4.29 percent rate.

On a projected $1.3 million project, Mayfield estimated savings of around $10,000 annually during repayment.

By the same token, Mayfield said he had been notified that the truck meant for the city will be ready for delivery in October with another month required to install a trash compactor on it.

The council voted 4-0 in the absence of Councilor Gene Winkler to transfer utility fund money to the equipment fund for the purchase, and reduce the equipment fund by the difference next year.

The financial savings did nothing for the council’s generosity as it turned down sharing with the county on local WRAPS grant financing for cleaning up Marion Reservoir 3-1, Councilor Bill Holdeman against.

The council voted 3-0-1, with Mayor Martin Tice abstaining because of conflicts representing both city and school, to approve an interlocal agreement with USD 408.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin said he drew the ordinance to lay down the basis for how the city and school will cooperate in the framework of operating the swimming pool. He called the ordinance “an organic document that can grow over time” as more agreements are added to it.

Baldwin said the document could also be used as the basis for cooperation on other projects with the school.

The council approved a franchise agreement with Eagle Communications, which has bought out Galaxy Cablevision to provide cable television in town.

Dennis Weese, representing Eagle, said the company will continue to provide Channel 22 for community programming, and will cooperate in producing local events programs.

Weese, who lives at Abilene, said the community is committed to improving services for rural communities.

Councilor Stacey Collett noted the city will receive a 5 percent franchise fee from the agreement.

Economic Development Director Jami Williams said she has received permission from land owners to locate signs to Marion at the junction of U.S. Highways 77 and 256.

She said she had an offer for purchase of a Marion, Web site for $5,000, but the councilmen passed the price tag up.

Williams said she has three different grants for the city in progress.

Public Works Director Harvey Sanders said underground electrical power supply to the city museum has been completed, and the stoplight in town has been removed under agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

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